OZONE PARK, NY – William Wilmot and Joan Taylor’s homebred Midnight Disguise ran near the rear early, then rallied down the stretch and drew off convincingly to win Thursday’s $100,000 Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct.
Off comfortably from the rail under Trevor McCarthy, Midnight Disguise sat well off the pace early while Oldfashioned Style led into the first turn and increased her lead down the backstretch. Beginning to move along the outside while heading into the far turn, Midnight Disguise began wrangling in a loose-on-the-lead Oldfashioned Style at the top of the stretch. The two fillies battled for much of the stretch while clearing off from their foes before Midnight Disguise took command at the 1/16 pole. McCarthy kept her to task through the wire, kicking away to win by 4 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:55.81 for the 9-furlong main track event.
“Our plan was to break and sit back,” McCarthy said. “She is a big filly. She has a very big stride, so I didn’t want to get into too much trouble, kind of let her sit outside and let her make her move, (and) let her tell me when she wanted to get going. It seemed like at the 3/8-pole I had so much horse, she wanted to hang there a little bit. She is still a little immature, but definitely a nice filly. (She) has a bright future in front of her.”
Oldfashioned Style held on well for second, 3 3/4 lengths past the favored Hail. Another 4 3/4 lengths back, a photo finish for fourth ultimately went to Wealth Effect by a head over Incleveland. Take Charge Tina completed the order of finish.
The Busanda is part of the Road to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Midnight Disguise earned 10 points for the win, with Oldfashioned Style receiving 4 for second, Hail 2 for third, and Wealth Effect 1 for fourth.
Midnight Disguise’s victory improved her record to 4-3-1-0, with all starts coming at Aqueduct. The Linda Rice-trained daughter of Midnight Lute took home $60,000 for the win, increasing her career earnings to $137,600.
“She’s just continued to improve and gain fitness and seasoning,” Rice said. “The last time, she ran a little bit green on the outside and in the stretch switching leads. But we were delighted today with how she ran the mile and 1/8 and two turns. It really opens up a lot of doors. The distance, whether it’s two turns or one turn, will be key. We’re just trying to find what makes the most sense and gives her the most opportunity, and let her learn and improve and not try and set the bar too high for her.”
Midnight Disguise returned $7.30 to win, $3.80 to place, and $2.40 to show. Oldfashioned Style brought back $6.40 to place and $3.40 to show, while Hail paid $2.30 to show.